The show centers around Major Creed (RG Armstrong) who is a large land and farm owner outside of Dodge City. He has a son named Dal Creed (James Best) that happens to be a weak coward which is totally opposite from his father.
Dal happens up on the Long Branch one evening and tries to strong-arm a saloon girl named Lottie. However Lottie is in a relationship with Pat Kane who just happens to be a ex-worker of the Creed ranch that Dal got fired. Anyway Pat don't take kindly to have his girl roughed up by Dal so they get into a fist fight until broken up by Marshal Dillon.
The next night while Lottie and Pat are leaving the Long Branch, shots ring out and Lottie is killed. Chester happens up to the scene and witnesses Dal getting on his horse and riding off. So Matt and Chester go out to the Creed farm to arrest Dal.
After a guilty verdict with the penalty of hanging, Major Creed uses all his political power to try to get a retrial or pardon. When he tells Dal that all attempts so far have failed - Dal goes into a crying and whining fit that embarrasses all that witness the spectacle. His father apologizes for his son's action and begins to think of a way that his son can die with a smile on his face.
The sheriff where the hanging is to take place tells Dal that his father has paid him and others to fake the hanging. Dal will look like he was hung but will be safe under the boarded up scaffold. Upon hearing this news Dal changes from a crying coward into a arrogant bully. It will be with the flare of arrogance that Dal ascends the steps to the hangman's noose. But all is not the truth.
Whatever the reason, at the end of this episode I knew I had witnessed a great entertaining story. From the script to the acting the entire episode was solid. James Best was perfect as the coward. R.G. Armstrong was a perfect cast as the father figure. Even minor characters such as the sheriff of Hays City was brilliant to the script. One of the most solid shows in the entire 'Gunsmoke' collection.